Back in my day, Rangers had to be good. There were no ECLs. There wasn't an Internet to get on and complain in forums about game balance. We suspended or disbelief and played the game. There were no character "builds". No one talked about DPS in the video games they were playing.You might see a new module twice a year.The game of dnd was designed to be DANGEROUS! You were scared of poison.You appreciated substance over form. (Sure, those old Erol Otus pics were somewhat crude, but they evoked a sense of the game that can't be replicated)
Guy Humual- agreed, that's why I worded my post as I did.
It may interest you to know that I myself am a skeptical person. I looked for other explanations for the things I experienced. For a time I wondered if I might have a brain tumor or something to that effect.
But, and this is something only to consider, one of the manifestations I witnessed started off with the sound of breaking glass....which two other witnesses (family members) heard as well. This occurred in a rural farmhouse we lived in so it wasn't neighborhood noise (the closest neighbor was a mile away) Anyway, as you might suspect, we did not find any broken glass in the house after the event. (My family members did not see the apparition before it vanished)
Anyway, none of this can be proven or disproven, I only offered to share because the question was asked. I am, however, confident that one day these type of things will be better understood. Meanwhile, it is a tragedy that so many people purposefully fake stories on possibly real phenomenom and muddle any serious attempt to study or investigate such things.
I might add there have been more than a few things "science" considered hogwash at different times in human history: the fact the earth is round and not flat, that the earth revolves around the sun and not vice versa, tales of ape men (gorillas) when Africa was first being explored, etc. Note: I am not opposed to the scientific method here, science amends itself when proven wrong
Of course there is an afterlife. Sadly I can't show you the evidence I have seen with my own eyes, because they were my own personal experiences. Suffice to say I am sensitive to what we label the as the paranormal.
Let me make it clear that this sensitivity is not something I sought or even wanted. If someone tells me a place is haunted, then I will avoid said location because I don't desire the experience.
It has also been my experience that the departed seem drawn to people who are sensitive to such things. My own encounters suggest that like everyone else, they want to be heard and recognized.
Now, as to what the afterlife is like I have no idea. The apparitions I have seen have rarely spoken, not that I would have been receptive to any sort of extensive discourse in my horrified state.
I think maybe there are just different states of energy. Maybe dimensions outside our perceptions and current science. I firmly believe that if we are given enough time as a species, those other realities will become places we can observe and study through the use of science. We may not have all the tools or understanding yet, but so far the universe has proved to be an organized place with rules and order.
Scoff as you like, but this is from my own experiences and they are what they are. I cannot deny them nor quantify them.
Yay Uber! Finally, someone who gets it! Now as far as counterbalancing any ability/class/etc that seems to be "overpowered", my DM has a simple fix. If something is such a good idea, it will catch on, which means our group eventually starts facing enemies using our "uber" tactics, gear, whatever. Its logical and makes sense, and it also is somewhat of a deterrent to so called power gaming in our group.
You know what? I personally dont have an opinion on this matter, but what I do want to comment on is this increasingly disturbing trend I see here on the forums. And its mainly this: If you express an opinion that is different than the current popular culture "one", you immediately receive some ugly label like "bigot" or whatnot no matter how respectful or intelligently you voice your opinion.
Tolerance should apply to everyone, as long as their behavior is not harming anyone directly. A difference of opinion is the american way.
Our society has only progressed because people were brave/bold enough to voice their opinions/convictions and then stand by them.Sure, the world is full of loud mouthed, intolerant idiots, but we get no where by stooping to their level. You cant enlighten anyone after crudely insulting their beliefs/opinions. I.E "Your opinions/beliefs are different than mine...so obviously you are an idiot..."
IDK, I am just sick of it. In a country where hardly anything is taboo to discuss in the public forum, well just let me quote the bible and I'll bet I get a bunch of snide remarks or some vague moderator threat of "we are not here to discuss religion" garbage. Why? The bible reperesents nothing less than a belief system, which we are all here voicing here in one form or another. And unlike our little quips and quotes, which will be quickly forgotten, the bible has endured for nearly 2 thousand years. What hubris to compare a few decades of life experience to the wisdom of the ages.....
Hmm, well that rant aside...how about a little more tolerance people? A little more love thy neighbor?
Hmm, well here's my two cents on the whole situation. Too many options is what has skewed the game to begin with! Having played 1st-4th edition as well as PF here's my take:
Back in the old days we didnt have alot of "options" No prestige classes. No archtypes. Hell, not even any feats or skill points. Just some basic classes and basic options. We had to use our imaginations to personalize our characters. Fighters only had the choice of using a 2h, weapon and shield, or fighting with 2 weapons (and back then the off hand weapon could only be a dagger or handaxe) Casters only had a choice of Wizard, Illusionist, cleic or druid. Spell lists were small, so you were only really different by maybe race choice or mullticlassing.
And even with limited options we had loads of fun! Games were a time to eat pizza, drink sodas, talk about movies we had seen or books we were reading, make bad jokes, laugh alot, and yes even roll some dice and kill some monsters. We didnt power game much cause it just wasnt there to work with.
Seems to me as the "arms race" became such a big driving force in the game is when the problems started. Everybody just started adding more and more options. Pcs became tougher and tougher. Monsters had to keep pace and be updated or they just became a joke.(Funny thing is, back then weapon specialization and the extra attacks it used to give was a hot topic as it unbalanced the game)
As all these options were added edition by edition, character creation and planning became more involved and time consuming. Players started spending hours pouring over options, agonizing over every choice. Terms like DPR started coming into use. Sure, we did some general character comparisons in the old days, but now it became paramount and we had all these options and stats and whatnot to cross compare.
You wanna complain about casteres? Wizzys in particular? Well back in 1e if you could keep one alive, no one resented you if you managed to get to higher level. (No one at our table anyway) At first level you had a whopping 1d4 hp with max +2 con bonus, no armor, very limited weapons, and ONE spell per day. Oh, and there was no casting on the defensive, and any round you got hit was a round you couldnt cast. A pc wizard was a party investment of time and effort as they were just freeloaders for the first few levels and everyone knew it!
If you want a good taste of old school, just check out the Swords and Wizardry SRD. Just staying alive is a major accomplishment!
Now, Pandora's box and all, I am not suggesting we go back to the good old days. We have moved on, evolved as it were. Maybe game structure could be simplified though. Maybe it could become less about massive amounts of damage. Maybe monsters could become less "monsters" in the hit point and attack department. (Hey, its actually ok that a well armored pc fighter/whatever can almost become "hit proof"seeing as hes still vulnerable to magic. That's his thing. And he should be able to wade through hordes of underlings, why did every monster have to become "special"?)
And along similar lines, maybe monks and mages should be a little lame at low levels, only to one day blossom into nearly matchless killiing machines at high level.
IDK, it just seems the scale of the game mechanics have grown so much and we all have become so absorbed in the excruciating minutia of it all that we have sort of started missing the point of it all. And the point, to me, is friends getting together and being silly, and killing 1,000's of orcs, and sometimes dying in epic and memorable ways, and sometimes dying in incredibly stupid but funny clusterf#ck ways, and playing til 1 or 2am, and eating boatloads of junk food (well that was b4 we got older and had to start watching sodium and bp and sugar, etc.lol) and telling and retelling stories of past glories til we all know them by heart.
Just my thoughts. Doesnt solve anything. We got what we got to play out our little stories and dreams, namely PF and other systems. But maybe the future will hold better things if we keep discussing and sharing ideas.
People should be able to feel safe in their own homes. I have no qualms about someone using a gun to defend themselves in their own home. Let's face it, the police can't do much for you until you are a victim. Thats just the truth, I have seen it several times in my own life.
It would be great if someone came up with something non-lethal that was 100% effective. Until then, I guess we use what we have at hand.
And it could be worse. Being shot to death sounds horrible.(though this guy lived) But imagine all those people who have pit bulls as protection for their families. Imagine being taken out that way.Ewwwwww. Of course, if you are a criminal, I guess you deserve whatever you get breaking into someone's home.
I'm not suggesting a gun ban would not reduce gun related crime. But get real, they exist and they are going to be used for bad purposes by very bad people. Make them as illegal as you like. They wont go away. Ever.
Consider the past ages of "civilized" man when smuggling carried a death sentence in many cases. People still risked life and limb when a profit was involved.
Now , again, I am not saying we stand idly by and do nothing. I am just fishing for more ideas. By inferred tone of many of the posts here, less people seem inclined to discuss real solutions and seem more inclined to somehow prove that their viewpooint is the "right" one somehow. We all agree there is a problem, we just have different solutions.
By the by, why do we tend to trivialize some lawful violations (drug use, for instance) and demand enforcement for others? Breaking the law is breaking the law. Yet we all know how widespread drug use and how available "illegal" substances are. Its almost laughable. Sadly, how much violent crime do you think is linked to drug use?
Ok, I should just stay out of this, but oh well. First off, as I have posted in other similiar threads, I dont like guns myself and have never owned one. I grew up in a household with fire arms and was taught to respect them. I am for banning anything but regular rifles and shotguns, let people have those for hunting and self protection.
But, its simply naive to think any sort of gun ban will put and end to gun violence. A friend of mine, who has reformed his life from quite a shady past, put it best when he recently commented,"Name anything that's currently illegal that you want to. Then give me thirty minutes, and I will return with it in hand."
Simply put, we cant get rid of them. No way. Its pandora's box. It's open and we have to learn to deal with it.
I dont know what the answer is. My usual suggestion is to make laws so severe that if you use a gun in the commission of a crime we put you away for life and you never get out. Problem is, these murder spree nutcases make their last victim themselves in alot of cases, so long jail terms are not a deterrent.
While I am up here on my soapbox, let me share another rant. Why is killing a cop a capital offense and killing me is not? Why is one life somehow worth more than another? Murder is murder. Simple. We should treat all killings the same and go for the jugular as recompense.
Whew! Alot of ugliness here. And I understand, I do. We are outraged when things like this happen. I think we wonder when viloence of this magnitude will touch our own lives directly.
But lets all take a deep breath and clear our heads a moment. We all see the same problem, more or less, but stand divided on how to fix it.
I propose we concentrate on what we share, and not our differences. Just for a few moments at least.
I make the assumption that no one here is a viloent criminal or has a history of violence. Why is that, exactly? What makes us different from someone that is?
Take myself, for instance. I have been around for more decades than I care to remember, and have never intentionally injured another human being. I am white, born to low to middle income parents (varied at times), was raised with religion (balk if you want, but it does give me boundaries and modifies my behaviors.) and was raised to be a "good citizen".
I survived an abusive stepfather. I lived in some bad neighborhoods and had bullets wiz by me on two occasions. I have been attacked by a knife wielding assailant. I have lived on the edge of poverty on a couple of occassions. I have faced "hopeless" situations from time to time.
And yet, I go to work everyday, pay my bills, obey the law, enjoy some of the good things life has to offer, and spend some time worrying about tommorow. I expect that most of you have lives very similiar to mine.
So, what makes us different than these violent people? Biologically, genetically, we are the same in most cases. What causes some people to crack and others to simply press on and to endure? I am being serious here, not sarcastic. How do we "fix" people so that they dont lose it and find someone to victimize?
Sometimes, I have thought it would be better to just take away all the "bad" things (subjective) that can (subjective) corrupt people. Drugs, alcohol, pornography, guns, etc. My Mom always reminds me that people have to have the right to choose how to live their lives, even if it does lead to destruction, (subjective)
I liked the movie, though I was a bit confused at parts. I didnt remember some things, but just chalked it up to Jacksons additions. After expressing this to friends of mine though, I was informed that Jackson also included material from The Silmarillion, which I never read. I hope this answers anyone elses' confusion. Other than a little hammy acting at times, I enjoyed the flick.
I believe Rynjin was referring to the summoner ability of Twin Eidolon, wherein you get all the benefits of a synthesist PLUS having an eidolon to boot. This was what I was talking about in that in an end game situation, a synthesist gives up a fair amount of power. Its all a matter of power now vs power later, though.
I dont think the summoner or the synthesist are broken. And yes, a synthesist gives up alot of power (roughly half) in the long run as compared to a regular summoner. And if you still think the summoner is somehow broken, I suggest you read the current post of the 13th lvl pistolero gunslinger who is doing over 300 damage a round. Almost any class can, with considerable thought and planning, be optomized to the point of being broken. (i.e. overshadowing other party members, which shouldnt be an issue to begin with)
Whew! Ok, alot of emotion here, but its understandable. Alot of the things I had in mind to say have actually already been covered by Killer GM. ( My hats off to you, sir)
But still, I have a few things I would like to share:
First off, in this world of wildly varying opinions, it still strikes me as strange that people are moved by tragedies like this (which they should be, mind you) but barely blink an eye at other statistics that are far more disturbing.(IMHO) At times like these, we think "of the children", but how about the estimated 40 million children worldwide who are aborted every year? In a country that lobbies to save the whales, save the baby seals, save the polar bears, and to put an end to capital punishment we are wracking up a death toll that far exceeds that of the Holocaust! Yet, we barely think anything of it because it is done in a controlled environment and we are comfortable with our ideas of when "life" begins.
Second, ok I dont like guns myself, but banning them will not end the problem. (though it would certainly lessen it) Alcohol related deaths kills thousands every year, and when we tried to ban that in a bygone age we created a powerful black market that grew into the mafia. I myself would suggest a ban on handguns only, let people have their rifles and shotguns for hunting and home defense. These weapons are harder to conceal, as well. And then lets have SERIOUS , I mean SERIOUS penalties for having/using a handgun in the commission of a crime.(Life imprisonment, no parole?)
We cant stop disturbed people from killing innocents, not entirely. This guy or the theatre shooter could have gone to greater lengths/effort and sealed people inside the buildings and then set them on fire. Sadly, humans have been butchering each other whith whatever is handy since the beginning of time.
I'm with Killer Gm in that we have to find ways to change our society. Governor Jesse Ventura once said something that stuck with me, he was talking about the "war on drugs" and what a waste of taxpayer money it was. His idea was this: put an end to the demand and the supply would dry up. Simply stated, he was saying society needed to change.
I realize that this is a somewhat simplistic notion, but it definitely has merit. Our society always seems caught in treating the symptoms without recognizing the cause of our ills. How do we do it? I have no idea, but I do believe there has to be a way
In our old 1st edition game we had these two assasin players who were always trying to outdo one another. Both of them had great personalities and senses of humor. Here are just two stories I remember:
The group was hired to kill this ancient black dragon who had been a menace for ages. We arrived in the town nearest the dragons stomping grounds and did a bit of carousing and fact finding in the local tavern. What we didnt know was that the dragon had a weredragon ally who kept a lookout in town for potential threats. This weredragon had a beautiful human female form, and she put the moves on one of the assasins, sipping a little something in his drink as well as charming him. She then led him to her room to "pump" him for information on our group. The other assasin was striking out with the ladies and decided to follow his buddy to see what was up.
The weredragon got the info she wanted, left the 1st assasiin with a suggestion that he had had a "wonderful" time, and left via the window of the room. The 2nd assasin comes in, notices the goofy look and glazed countenance of his friend as well as the open window. Judging the situation, he has a good inkling of what has happened and unbuttons his shirt a few button and waits. As the 1st assasin is coming around, still a little delirious and confused, he looks at the 2nd assasin standing there in the act of buttoning up his shirt with a big smile on his face. 2nd Assasin quote: "So, was it good for you too?"
On another occasion we were exploring this dungeon and came across a pitiful little girl sobbing and chained to a wall. Assasin 2 (from above) had a little training as an illusionist and noticed something was wrong. Making his save, he sees the little girl for the evil male spellcaster lying in wait that she really is. Springing to the attack he begins stabbing the little girl and is quickly joined by assasin 1, while the rest of the party reacts in shock and disgust! Finishing the evil caster off, assasin one turns to his buddy and says:"So, you saw through the illusion too?" to which assasin 2 replies, "What illusion?" Laughter explodes around the table.
Howdy Owen! I posted an open call to any 3rd party developers a month or so ago, but thats long since buried. How about an Ultimate Class Creation Guide? I'm thinking something along the lines of an expanded version of DnD's 2nd edition Skills and Powers series. Probably a point buy system for hps, armor and weapons, combat progression, good and bad saves, magic ability, flaws, etc
Ok, not the most powerful or the absolute scariest, but I have noticed with much humor that oozes, slimes, puddings seem to unnerve our little group the most. We run into them so infrequently that when one shows up everyone is wracking their brain trying to remember what works on what type and what special attacks they have. Always worth a few rounds moment of panic/worry. =)
I too am a christian gamer and have used the following arguements over the years:
First off, for an imbalanced mind, anything can be dangerous and taken to extremes. Rock music, controversial literature, and gaming do not, of themselves, force anyone into any type of behavior. (Though in gaming's case, it may lead to too many late nights) I am quick to point out to detractors how many horrors have been commited in the very name of religion!
Secondly, I let people know just what sort of folks I game with. Seated around our table are all sorts of white collar professionals, all intelligent and open minded people. Are we geeks? Sure, but I might add not one of us has a criminal record either. And should anyone think DnD glorifies violence, I am quick to point out that the only weapon my friends have ever wielded effectively was sarcasm.
It may be worthy of note to mention, that for my own part, because of my spiritual beliefs I have never been comfortable playing a cleric or paladin. Its part of that "thou shalt have no other gods before me" thing. That's just one of my own pecularities though.
Well whatever he is, constable or traitor, my first thought was he looks like a corrupt official from a Robin Hood story. All looks great to me =) Can't wait to see what the madmen (and women?) at Paizo have come up with for this book. I mean, I remember looking at the Game Mastery guide and just loving those simple npc write ups/examples. Anyone else think SOMEBODY went waaaay out there for the write up on the Torturer though? I mean, its really detailed and well.....I would almost play it as is....if I was INTO that sort of thing mind you =)
Well, I remember one old school adventure where the main bad guy (a lich, I think) built his dungeon/maze, "advertised" its vast treasures/wealth etc, and then used the place so that only the smartest/strongest people would survive it and reach the center. Then he planned to destroy the "cream of the crop" and transform them into worthy undead servitors. I believe he also "snacked" on a few of the strongest souls to advance his own power/progression.
Well, I really would have liked to have seen some summoners, but here's hoping to "one day" Otherwise, this looks like it will be great and be very fun to read and provide tons of pc and npc ideas, storylines etc.
Sorry, no answer for your question, just wanted to comment on Tome of Secrets =) I loved this little sourcebook and have often considered using its classes and backgrounds for a campaign setting all by themselves. (Of course using CRB etc for feats, spells,) Probably wouldnt do for a long run game, but has this odd charm to it. Anyone else have any experience with this 3rd party book?
As a side note: to all monk lovers, the scariest monk I have seen relative to the gaming system it was in is the one in Swords and Wizardry. You can go look at it in the Swords and Wizardry SRD. I bought the Core, Complete Rules, and the monster book and its a fun read. But its waaaaaay too hardcore for most people I think. It hearkens to a simpler time, but its not for everyone. I have been reading some gms blog an he is like on his 4th party in 6 weeks.......
Adamant: thats just our GM. And he must be doing something right as we have been coming back to the table for 25 years. Lol-or maybe we are just gluttons for punishment. He DOES toss us a bone now and then, a truly easy encounter (usually random-but his charts mean you could run into a Tarrasque at 1st level too) IDK, guess its just what we are used to. Others of us have ran over the years, our 2nd best experiences have been with single campaigns but rotating dms. But only our "killer" dm has what it takes to run a consistent campaign that doesnt "bend" to the complainers. (I'm too much of a softy myself, I hate killin pcs. Dont mind dying myself, just soft on my friends I guess)
Forgive me if this has been done before...for I have never seen it in published form. Ok, with the constant concern about class balance on these forums I have a new/old idea.
Back in 2nd edition in the DMG they had this little, simple table for dms to create new classes. I greatly expanded on that table and birthed a campaign world my group quite enjoyed for a couple years. The idea was to be able to "build" your perfect class, the one that best represents your ideas and playstyle. (I know other game systems have systems like this, but I'm talking dnd or pf here)
I have done a similiar system for 3.5 Dnd, but with our current campaign entering its 8th(?) year I did want to disrupt our group atm. We have done some playtesting, but thats about it.
I doubt Paizo would be interested in such a venture ( and I have no desire to publish my own work for the masses to ridicule) so how about ANYONE out there taking a stab at a point buy character creation system for Pathfinder? I know most novices need their role developed for them at first, but I think many advanced players would be interested in such an idea. And I am not talking about a Skills and Powers approach here, but a true pick your options thing.
I suppose that wouldnt end all player complaints as folks would probably be argueing over "why does ability A cost this much while ability B, etc" but perhaps it would finally bring some true game balance for those seeking it. Additionally, some people (myself included) would enjoy building truly (or mostly) unique pcs.
Just a thought. Anyone know of anything like this still in print and thats any good?
To answer some of your questions, I have seen single encounters go 6+ hours. I have seen a battle go over to 2nd gaming session plenty of times. Our average session now is probably 5 hours, but it used to easily be 7-8 hours at a time and we occassionally had 12 hour marathons. The longest session I ever personally ran was14 hours. ( 5pm friday til 7am saturday.) We are all too old for that now, and start nodding off after midnight even if heavily caffeinated.
Wraith, actually I use mirror image all the time. Ahem, I sort of ommitted that because it adds credence to my insistence that monks are a good class and especially against casters. I dont usually fly because we are usually in a mega dungeon situation.
And if they actually do remake the monk, that will sadden me a little. Not because MAYBE, just MAYBE the class needs it, but because it will potentially open the door to every cry baby whiner who thinks such and such class is broken or nerfed, etc. I have seen this sort of thing happen way too often on MMOs I have played over the last decade. After awhile, the game looks nothing like the one you started playing and fell in love with.
2nd edition monk? You mean the fighting monk cleric? Hmm, yeah he was pretty cool.
Hmm, interesting. My lifelong group of 25+ years must really have a different playstyle than most of you.
Though I would say a random encounter probably wraps up in 4-6 rounds for our group, I have seen
many epic battles go 30+ rounds. And they were anything but boring! Now, mind you, this is gaming
experience spanning 4 editions. Mitigating factors include:
1.) Always having a larger than 4 person group. Sometimes, as many as 10!
2.) Our DM always plays master villians as intelligent. In mid-battle situations, additional traps are sprung, more allies arrive, creatures are summoned, etc.
3.) You will never drop one of our master villians in 3, 6, or maybe even 9 rounds of direct conflict! In addition, they will retreat, port, heal themselves, whatever.
4.) We have never used the " a party of four level fours should expect to face a cr 4 encounter...." formula, our adversary cr's are usually higher by 2,3 or more.
5.) Our fatality rate would be several times higher without in combat healing. Matter of fact, in big battles, we would all be dead without it. Most every player has some personal healing resources to boot.
6.) I guess epic fights for us go something like this:1.) we find the major baddie 2.) we spend rounds killing off minions while major baddie blasts us 3.) we finally get down to major baddie and a few leftover minions with the potential of more bad guy allies showing up or being summoned at this point 3.) we try to figure out MB's protections and defenses as he almost always has things that counter our usual attacks/strategies,(Or he uses the environment/terrain to thwart us) about here is when we need healing just to stay alive 4.) The MB mops the floor with at least a couple of us, more healing please 5.) We finally figure the MB out and pour everything into a last few desperate attacks. Much more rarely, we have a flash of brilliance and destroy the MB in spectacular fashion.6.) Loot bodies, gather the dead, retreat to heal, etc.
7.) 3 round combat? Only in a published adventure, and our DM rarely uses for fear someone has read the module. Though some of our longer fights get mind numbing at times, 3 round fights would sound boring in comparison. (What? That's it?) Though I suppose at levels 1-2 maybe fights went that fast. So long since we played those levels its hard to remember.
Woah! Lotta passion here, to say the least. Thought I would add a few more insights:
1.) Just this past week in our regular game I saw a situation where a monk would have shined. Our resident barbarian is a killing machine and he loves to party amongst the innards of fallen foes. He has a decent ac, alot of hps, and uses a Great Axe to good effect. Trouble is, he's a one trick pony. We were fighting a fairly powerful mage, who after taking an initial thrashing from our barb in round one cast an IronGuard spell.(Havenot seen this in PF yet, makes you immune/insubstantial to all metal) So our barb was left with nothing to do but grumble and feel useless.(He didnt want to risk grappling because we assumed the mage was a vampire too) A monk, on the other hand, could have kept on fighting. (assuming he had an amulet of mighty fists as the mage turned out indeed to be a vampire)
2.) These days I most often play a caster. And I just LOVE to see a barbarian or fighter npc coming my way
with ill intent. They have bad saves, few other options than just "hit it", and I usually mop the floor with
them.Now a monk coming at me, on the other hand, is much more scary. Good saves, evasion and
attacks that require fort saves on my part (not a strong save for me as a mage) and decent hps and ac. If
he has anything that protects from Magic Missile as well, I am practically hosed.
3.) When I first started playing DnD I went the usual route of playing a fighter. I concentrated on having a
high ac, good hit points, and hitting things as hard as I could. At lower levels I was the Golden Child,
grabbing glory and killing hordes. But as the game progreseed, I couldnt help but envy other
classes and their special abilities. My foes now flew beyong the reach of my mighty sword, casters
confounded me with mirror images and stoneskin spells, rogues popped out of the shadows and
backstabbed or poisoned me, and I often felt like a turtle on its back when I fell into various dungeon
traps and pitfalls. Monks were really weak in those days at lower levels, but hard work payed off and
eventually they became truly fearsome opponents at higher levels, and I couldnt but help feel like a 5th
wheel in comparison.
4.) Also, I have played "old school" in the days before dms felt so much pressure to maintain a campaign.
There were no "adventure paths", though there were linked modules. Bottom line, the dm didnt care if he
killed you or the party had a complete tpk. Part of the challenge/fun was just surviving. So if you were good
at"running away" that was a valueable commodity. To paraphrase a current cultural saying, "I dont have to
outrun the monsters. I just have to outrun you!" And run we did, leaving behind dying comrades who
would have done the same if circumstances permitted and who would have snickered no less than we did
while doing so. And good saves or immunity to things were so much more important back then because so
many thing could kills you outright. Poison was scary because a footlong spider could conceivably kill your
level 30 character with one bite! I guess my point is that all these things which are considered somewhat
unimportant compared to DPR now used to be difference makers in the days when survival was alot more
OK, just using the CRB, here are some important differences between Monks and Fighters/Barbarians:
1.) Stunning fist- how is that not useful? (If it works)
I think most people have conveniently "forgotten" all these extra abilities. If you want a damage monster/tank, play a fighter or barbarian. And then, when they come (and they will), enjoy all those times when YOUR abilities are next to useless and YOU are getting abused by special attacks or intelligent opponents.(spells, poisons, pit traps, etc) Then maybe you will look more fondly on and with greater awareness of how a monk can shine in the right situations.
I would say that it was done this way to present different "path" options for monks and to actually differentiate those paths in meaningful ways. There are a variety of martial artist archtypes from books, movies and mythology. It only makes sense to offer real options for making "unique" monks, just like paizo has done with all the character classes. Hooray for creativity! Down with cookie cutter characters!
Hmmm, what have I learned? Well, one thing is you JUST cant please everyone. This generation of DO IT MY WAY OR YOU SUCK consumers really tickles me. What a sense of entitlement they have. Seems to me if a game continues to sell and be profitable, it must have something going for it. Irks me almost as much as game magazines trying to TELL consumers what is good, like word of mouth and units moved have no bearring as to whether a game has succeeded or not.
I have not been "brainwashed" by Paizo. I respect their dedication to the game as fans themselves, while balancing the need to eat (Read as: move product) I think they are doing an admireable, albeit mostly thankless, job.
Oh well, maybe I am not as critical because in "my day" you had to wait months, sometimes years for new gaming material. Lots of competition nowadays. Lots of stuff available now, though a whole lot of it is just plain mediocre. Paizo seems to have consistently good product/content. Just my opinion, mind you, worth no more or less than anyone elses'. Food for thought?